Deferred retirement


Q: I am 57 with five years of SES federal service under FERS. I am planning to leave federal employment soon and have two questions about deferred retirement. Will I have an opportunity to continue my federal health care insurance after separation from federal employment? I have about 12 weeks accrued sick time and six weeks accrued leave time (18 weeks total). What options do I have with these balances upon separation?

A: If you leave government, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for your unused annual leave. Your unused sick leave, which has no cash value, will simply disappear. Under the temporary continuation of coverage provision, you’ll be able to continue your health benefits coverage for uo ti 18 months; however, you’ll have to pay 100 percent of the premiums plus 2 percent for administrative costs. Finally, you’ll be able to apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. That annuity will be calculated using the following formula: 0.01 x your high-3 on the day you left government x your years and full months of service.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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